/Gridiron Digest: Cowboys Hopes Ride on Their Overworked, Underpaid Hero

Gridiron Digest: Cowboys Hopes Ride on Their Overworked, Underpaid Hero

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You know who the “storyline quarterbacks” are: the guys we love to debate about, even when they don’t do anything particularly interesting on any given Sunday. 

Well, it turns out that some of them did do some particularly interesting things in Week 11, so let’s take a deep dive into the numbers:


Jared Goff, Rams: 11-of-18 for 171 yards with no touchdowns and one interception

Goff completed just four of six passes for 89 yards and one interception (to Roquan Smith, in tight coverage) before halftime of the 17-7 Rams victory over the Bears. The Rams possessed the ball for just 12 minutes in the first half, and their offense went three-and-out five times throughout the game while desperately trying to protect a slim lead. Goff threw for 64 yards on the final Rams scoring drive to both ice the game and make his stat line less dire, though his numbers would look better if a 51-yard touchdown to Josh Reynolds wasn’t nullified by a penalty.

Goff now has 11 touchdown passes, 10 interceptions and an 82.1 passer rating through 10 games. We would mention how much money he is making, but that would just be rubbing it in.

Up against Goff was Mitchell Trubisky, another “storyline quarterback.” He bounced balls off the calves of defenders while trying to lead a comeback from what was a three-point deficit for most of the night and then left the game with what the Bears described as a hip injury. If you went to bed early instead of staying up to see whether Goff or Trubisky would be more disappointing, Gridiron Digest values and envies your choice.


Kirk Cousins, Vikings: 29-of-35 for 319 yards, with three TDs and no INTs

Cousins was 11-of-12 for just 58 yards in the first half as the Broncos built a 20-0 lead over the Vikings. He started the game with completions of 6, 2, 2, 4, 6, 6, 5, 10, 14, -3 and 6 yards, with three sacks and a lost fumble, plus one deep completion negated by a holding penalty. It was essentially a parody of Cousins at his worst.

He then turned it around to throw for 261 yards and two 30-plus-yard touchdowns in the second half as the Vikings came back to take a 27-23 lead. Their defense then stopped a late Broncos drive at the 4-yard line, so Cousins wouldn’t be blamed for not being able to come back.

So to sum it up: Cousins is now capable of having both Good Cousins and Bad Cousins games in the same week. That must be why he gets paid the big bucks.


Kyle Allen, Panthers: 31-of-50 for 325 yards with no TDs and four INTs

Allen was also sacked five times. He was 11-of-14 for 121 yards throwing to Christian McCaffrey, mostly short passes against the prevent defense the Panthers faced for much of the second half of a 29-3 loss to the Falcons, making Allen 20-of-36 for 204 yards and four picks, three of them in the first half, when throwing to everyone else.

It turns out that Cam Newton‘s obscure backup is probably neither an improvement over Newton nor his worthy successor. Shocking, isn’t it?


Jameis Winston, Buccaneers: 30-of-51 for 313 yards, with two TDs and four INTs

This was the fifth four-plus-interception game of Winston’s career and the second of this season; you may recall that he threw five interceptions against the Panthers in London in mid-October. It was Winston’s 21st career multi-interception game and his third multi-interception game against the Saints, who easily beat the Bucs 34-17 on Sunday.

On the plus side, Winston did throw a short left-handed pass to Dare Ogunbowale while escaping a pass-rusher on Sunday, so he has yet to throw a left-handed interception that we know of. In fact, maybe Winston has secretly been left-handed all along. That makes as much sense as the fact that the Bucs keep giving him endless starting opportunities.


Josh Allen, Bills: 21-of-33 for 256 yards with three TDs, plus seven carries for 56 yards and another TD

In four career games against the Dolphins, Allen is 72-of-118 for 913 yards, 10 touchdowns and three interceptions, with 29 carries for 318 yards and three touchdowns. The Bills are 3-1 in those games, including Sunday’s 37-20 victory. 

If Allen faced the Dolphins every week, he would be Lamar Jackson. But if Lamar Jackson faced the Dolphins every week, he would be Galactus, the Devourer of Worlds.